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My Opinion (Steven Jackson)

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My Opinion (Steven Jackson)

Postby Ripcord » Sat Jul 16, 2005 1:31 pm

Well after a few years of being on this site i have decided that I don't contribute enough. I write a few things here and there but i don't really bring a lot of info to this site. So I have decided that whenever i get a chance I'm going to write a little article. I have decided to focus on one player and what I think they're value and Draft status should be. I will back-up my opinion with as many facts as possible. I have decided that the first guy I'm going to talk about is Steven Jackson. I have been reading a lot about Jackson due to the fact that I am thinkin about drafting him in my main money league. Ok I know that this has been talked about a lot but I seriously think that in comparrison to T.O. this guy will have both a better Fantasy season and future. So if you don't want to read about Mr Jackson then you may end it here but if you want to hear my educated opinion then please enjoy my writings.

Ok the first thing that comes to mind is the offense that he's in. St.Louis is a very pass friendly offense, or so you think. OK if you look at the rams rushing attempts, even in the best years of his career, 1999 and 2000 Marshall Faulk had only 253 carries with 1300+ yrds both years. But also shared carries both years with a change of pace back. That is pretty good for a back in a pass heavy offense.

Faulk averaged about a half yard more a carry in his best 2 years, then Jackson did in his rookie year. In Faulks rookie year he rushed for about 4.1 yrds per carry with the colts, almost a yard less then Jacksons and almost 2 yrds less then his first year with St.Louis . So Faulk became the best back in the NFL with the rams, who's offensive cordinator at the time is now the head coach. Martz knew how to get the most out of Faulk which meant giving him about 70 less carries then what the colts were feeding him. But Martz and Vermeil got more out of faulk increasing his yrds per carry and decreasing his workload. Faulk went up 1.5 yrds per carry under the new pass heavy rams offense. So Martz knows how to use a rb.

So what does this mean. Ok I'm not comparing Jackson to Faulk just showing that the Rams do know how to use the talent they have in the back feild. So if you look at it like I do then even if Jackson's yrds per carry don't increase you can look at him getting on average 250 carries a year, that is even with Faulk taking some carries about 50. So with this average Jackson is looking at about 1250 rushing yrds. Pretty good for a pass heavy offense. Now that's assuming Martz stays with his current offensive scheme. His top back averages 250 carries a year giving up about 0 to the change of pace back. So really Jackson will get his yrds no matter who the back-up is.

The next thing that I thought about is Recieving. OK so faulk is an explosive back who can score from anywhere on the feild. But last year who had the longest run out of the back feild, it wasn't Faulk it was jackson. I know what your thinkin faulk can catch a ball and score to, but even Faulk recieving out of the back-feild he had no more then a 25 yrd catch. Now I do agree that Faulk is the better reciever and he will be used as a slot wr, or lined up on a corner, so then Jackson will still be in the back-feild and having Faulk, Holt and Bruce on the outside will open up the feild for draws and even for Jackson to get open in the flats. So maybe Jackson doesn't get 50 catches for 500 yrds, but he will get 30 for about 250. which would make him about a 1500 yrd back.

THe Last things to talk about are Touchdowns. This is the one spot that I think Jackson will become better then Faulk. Jackson has the speed to score the long Td's plus the size to pound the ball in on the goaline. The Rams with Faulk never had the power game that will drive the team inside the 5. The Rams always had a counter or toss or screen or some other play to the flats, that teams could focus on. Sure they had some TD's were they did a draw with Faulk but he never had the power to go through someone. Jackson has that ability and can still catch those screens and tosses. Now don't get fooled with Jacksons TD totals last year he never got really into a groove of playing time, nor did the coaches give him enough carries to wear down the deffenses like a Jamal lewis or even Bettis. Both guys who have comparrible size although Jackson is 3 inches taller then Jamal he is about 12 pounds leaner. So this guy could deffinatly wear down the deffenses. PLus as Bruce and Holt get older the team will lean more on Jackson making him the future of the team. So really the TD's will be there. I expect about 10 td's.

So where do i rank him for runningbacks this year, I Put him in the top 12, roughly around the Domanick Davis's and The Clinton Portis's. But next year I believe he will be a top 10 back if not a top 5. If anyone can get this guy in the late second round this guy will be a steal and deffinately a keeper for years to come.

So that's what i think and remember this is only opinion and i am open to comments or other opinions.

Thanks for readin.
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Postby koffeeboy » Sat Jul 16, 2005 1:45 pm

Portis is way better than Davis and Jackson.
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Postby Ripcord » Sat Jul 16, 2005 1:51 pm

i never said portis was worse i asid i rank him amongst portis and davis.

please read before you respond.
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Postby CC » Sat Jul 16, 2005 2:09 pm

Good read, but I hope you were talking about current Marshall Faulk in regards to TDs. If it was from a few years ago Stevie will never touch those #'s.
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Postby Ripcord » Sat Jul 16, 2005 2:12 pm

yeah i meant marshall over the last few years. That's why i assumed 10td's.
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Postby davidmarver » Sat Jul 16, 2005 2:39 pm

I wrote:You guys are lucky I'm majoring in mathematics this fall...number crunching like this is a nice warmup for what I'll be facing.

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What does this all mean? Well, basically I added up the number of carries Faulk and Jackson acrued last season and 'projected' them out for Steven Jackson based on the percentage of carries Jackson is going to recieve. For this I used his yards/carry from last season and his carries/touchdown ratio from last year (which is a little misleading, but still proves a point) since last season is all any of us have to go on.

Even if Jackson got every single carry this upcoming season (based on the number Martz administered to the two last season) Jackson would still only be the sixth best running back. This is only based on rushing numbers and it is reasonable to point out that Steven Jackson's participation in the passing game is far inferior to the elite, first round running backs in fantasy football. I must also point out that even if Jackson recieves every carry, a lot of the receptions he would see are still going to be taken away by Faulk because there is no way Martz excludes Marshall completely from his offense. Using more reasonable numbers, 80% and 75% for the proportion of carries we relegate to Jackson, we see he dips down to the tenth and seventeenth best running back based solely on rushing statistics. I still find those two proportions to be moderately high for a second-year player attempting to supplant a successful veteran like Faulk. Even so, these numbers still should do the trick; there is no way Steven Jackson produces top ten numbers this season barring a significant increase in his participation in the passing game or an injury (more likely) to Faulk.

Jackson also has many other question marks surrounding him. In order for Faulk to have the highest amount of impact as a reciever that he can, he's going to have to get a handoff every so often when Jackson is on the field. This is to keep the defense on their toes because Faulk, even at 32, still cannot be ignored. What worries me about Faulk getting a carry with Jackson on the field is that it now makes Jackson a run-blocker. I don't know about you, but I don't want one of my high draft picks run-blocking on two or three plays per game. Not only is that a big red flag, but also a likely scenario (much more likely than Jackson recieving 100% of the carries).

The other question marks to me are little more discomforting. Here's what NFL.com's prospect scouting report said about Steven Jackson last season (before I continue, I'd like to at least acknowledge that the 'positives' on Jackson did include being an "effective reciever", but that's yet to be seen at the pro level):
Negatives: Has great initial speed, but can be brought down when defenses initiate contact in the backfield (needs room to gain acceleration) … Good short area blocker, but does not always see the blitz develop and is not quick to locate linebackers when asked to block at the second level (needs better technique work to sustain) … Patient and uses his blockers well, but despite his leg strength, he does go down a bit too much when trying to squeeze through the pile (looks frustrated working in close quarters, preferring to gain room to be more effective).

Two things jump out at me:

He doesn't protect the blitz well, which most likely will mean a lot of the third down plays that could be draws (3rd and greater than seven or eight) will be given to Faulk since he's a much more experienced blocker. Draw plays are bread-and-butter yardage plays since, to be honest, the defense will concede six or seven yard runs since it's a long-distance situation.

The second thing that jumps out at me (much more serious) is that he "does go down a bit too much when trying to squeeze through the pile". Exit a few goalline opportunities, if this scouting report is accurate). This doesn't mean Faulk is going to see those carries, just that a lot of the goalline run plays may turn into play-action, rollout-type plays.

All of this considered, it's comforting to see Jackson drifting as late as he is. I have him eighteenth on my board, partially by default, but I can certainly see him disappointing that ranking this season. That doesn't mean he isn't talented, but there are far safer picks and there are picks with much more upside than Steven Jackson (like Tatum Bell, but I think that's for another post). It's safe to say you won't be seeing me spend a high-round pick on him; at least not yet.

EDIT: Before I forget, the Rams are definitely a better run blocking team than they are a pass blocking team (26th in sacks allowed :-o ), so the pass-block knock on Steven Jackson will come into play even more often since Martz will often find himself requesting that extra blocker.
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Re: My Opinion (Steven Jackson)

Postby Ripcord » Sat Jul 16, 2005 2:46 pm

Ripcord wrote:So that's what i think and remember this is only opinion and i am open to comments or other opinions.


i was just stateing my opinion, I don't believe there is a formula that could ever predict Fantasy stats, I just believe that Jackson will have similar carries to Faulk in his prime. so i am just best guessing his stats. Plus your formula doesn't take into account that age, experience and coaching staff all impact fantasy stats.
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Postby maddog60 » Sat Jul 16, 2005 3:07 pm

While I would not be surprised if Jackson finishes top 5 in RBs sometime in the future, I don't want to rely on him while he's still sharing a backfield in Mike Martz's system. Martz's playcalling is erratic at best, and you never know when Jackson isn't going to see even 10 carries. Look at Mart'z play calling last year:

week 17: 40 passes, 19 rushes
week 16: 28 passes, 43 rushes
week 15: 36 passes, 10 rushes
week 14: 29 passes, 21 rushes
week 13: 31 passes, 31 rushes
week 12: 53 passes, 17 rushes
week 11: 45 passes, 20 rushes
week 10: 34 passes, 31 rushes
week 09: 33 passes, 19 rushes
week 07: 40 passes, 19 rushes
week 06: 30 passes, 30 rushes
week 05: 42 passes, 24 rushes
week 04: 25 passes, 36 rushes
week 03: 49 passes, 15 rushes
week 02: 31 passes, 15 rushes
week 01: 34 passes, 30 rushes

With Faulk still in the backfield, and considering those numbers include QB scrambles, its unpredictable to determine if Jackson will see 25 or 10 carries each week, and that will make a difference whether or not he's a reliable starter.

oh yeah, almost forgot, even though I disagree, good post. Hopfully more where that came from. ;-D
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Postby moochman » Sat Jul 16, 2005 5:04 pm

That's an awful lot of Is there Rip. If I could add a few: I think that Portis and especially DD are much better values and apt to put up better numbers than S Jax.

I look at his situation as I would the Bronco's. Whoever is starting that week will be a strong play. I do believe that there are some injury concerns and vulturing from Marshall, Marshall, Marshall. (My avatar made me do it). Not unlike my thoughts on Bell.

And like the Broncos, I also distrust vehemently the coach. To put you trust in Martz useage of his RBs is to be as big a fool as he is. The man is nutz. And a raging egomaniac. As soon as he thinks S Jax is getting too much love he'll put Marshall, Marshall, Marshall in there.

I do think that S Jax is primed for a nice season, and could be a good value in the third round. But to compare him to DD and Portis is premature, I think.
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Postby koffeeboy » Sat Jul 16, 2005 5:43 pm

Ripcord wrote:i never said portis was worse i asid i rank him amongst portis and davis.

please read before you respond.


And you must have not read my statement.

I said Portis ranks well above Jackson.
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